My Lady Pocahontas
In grade school, we all hear the story of Pocahontas, the daughter of an Indian chief who befriends Captain John Smith and helps ensure the survival of the fledgling English colony established at Jamestown in 1607. But details of the relationship between Pocahontas and Smith are somewhat murky, and most times you never hear what happened to the “Indian princess.” My Lady Pocahontas, written for 10 to 14 year olds, tells the tale from the point of view of Neetah, a loyal Pamunkey girl whose very name means friend.
Pocahontas sees visions which lead her first to spy on the settlers in order to protect her people, then to believe she herself will prove a peaceful link between the two disparate cultures. Neetah stands by her friend through many trials, even when she begins to suspect Pocahontas’s visions might be clouded by love for Captain Smith. She remains steadfast when it appears Pocahontas’s machinations have not been protecting the Pamunkey from the newcomers but inadvertently bringing death and destruction.
Steady and true, Neetah understands Pocahontas’s heart and presents to young readers a sympathetic account of this Pamunkey woman whose life can be seen as both tragic and inspiring. Well-researched and engaging, this book is recommended, although it may be a bit mature for some ten-year-olds.